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March 30, 2004
One thing Husky fans will be anxious to see during next fall will be the end of running back Louis Rankin's redshirt season. Rankin's name was a household word during his recruitment, but he's been waiting in the wings since he arrived at Washington last fall - now, he's ready for, what he feels, will be a breakout spring...
Rankin is (so far) slated to join the running back roster for spring - but he's got some competition ahead of him in Kenny James, Shelton Sampson, and Chris Singleton - all three have seen legitimate playing time, "I know that they've got the experience right now", said Rankin, "But I feel I can compete."
Rankin came into Washington at 6-0, 190 - he's now at 6-1, 195.
"I think they were good", Rankin told Realdawg.com about the recent mat drills at Washington, "I think I'm in real good shape heading into spring and I'm definitely ready."
When he was being recruited, the big talk was that of Rankin's bloodlines; his uncle is former NFL standout, Webster Slaughter, who spent 13 years in the league.
"He didn't come up last year because I wasn't playing yet", said Rankin, "But I'm pretty sure he'll come up this year for some games."
With a May birthday on the way for Louis, he's showing a genuine maturity regarding his underclassman status on the running back roster, "I wish I would have played last year", he said, "But I think in a lot of ways it humbled me to sit out and just watch - I think I grew mentally stronger as a result."
And he's learning more by the minute, "I'm looking forward to seeing more of what Coach Jackson will be like as our running backs coach", said Rankin, "Coach Heater was a good coach, and I know coach Jackson will be a good one too, either way, I'll benefit as a running back."
"I see myself competing", Rankin concluded, "I'll go out and do the best I can, and whatever God allows me to do."
Louis Rankin's Bio (per Washington Media Guide)
High School and Personal: Scored 41 touchdowns as a senior to rank second in California ... 41 touchdowns was top mark ever for Stockton prep player and fifth best mark by a San Joaquin Section player ... 34 of Rankin's touchdowns came on the ground ... rushed for 2,245 yards ... 14 receptions led to five scores and 272 yards .... also scored twice on kick returns ... first-team all-state pick by CalHi Sports as a multi-purpose player ... team was 12-2 his senior season and won the San Joaquin League for the second consecutive season ... reached the championship game of the Division I playoffs ... team was 11-2 his junior season ... one of 10 finalists for the Cal-Hi Sports California Mr. Football player of the year award ... also a member of the Trojans' basketball and track teams ... named to PrepStar's All-West Region team.